Best feminist moments of the 2018 Golden Globes

It seems strange to praise a red carpet as a feminist triumph, but that is exactly what the 2018 Golden Globes appears to have pulled off, as women in film and television came together to celebrate each others’ successes, while reminding their industry – and the world – that gender inequality and sexual violence are issues that affect women in every part of society.
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Here are seven reasons why this year’s Golden Globes will be one to remember.

1. Hollywood embraces black dress code

Following the directive from newly-formed organisation Time’s Up – a group of more than 300 women created in response to the recent allegations of sexual harassment and assault in the entertainment industry – the vast majority of attendees dressed wholly or partially in black.

Of course, there were a few notable exceptions.

President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the 90-person, otherwise completely insignificant journalists’ union who – it is easy to forget – is in charge of the awards each year), Meher Tatna, came in vibrant red. The Indian-born reporter, who works for Singapore’s New Daily newspaper, told Entertainment Tonight she would not be wearing black because her outfit had significance for her mother, who would be watching at her home in Mumbai.

“My mum and I planned this together a couple of months ago, it is a cultural thing,” Tatna said. “When you have a celebration, you don’t wear black. So she would be appalled if I were to [have] worn black. And so this is, for my mum.”

Master of None’s Kelvin Yu attended the awards in a white tuxedo. But it doesn’t seem like anyone #AskedHimMore about it.

2. E! called out for gender pay gap

With a history of “Manicams” and asking actresses “Who are you wearing?” (and not much else), it was unclear ahead of the event if it would be strange or strangely fitting for the scene of Time’s Up blackout to be the E! network’s coverage of the Golden Globes red carpet.

Adding to the mix, the network has been in hot water recently after E! News co-host Catt Sadler left her position in December, upon learning her male co-host, Jason Kennedy, was earning “double” her salary and had been “for several years”.

Will & Grace’s Debra Messing was the first actor to reference the incident during the red carpet coverage, seemingly catching E! host Giuliana Rancic off guard after she asked what she probably thought was a relatively safe question about why Messing had decided to wear black to the awards.

“Time is up and we want diversity, we want intersectional gender parity, we want equal pay,” said Messing.

“I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-host the same as their male co-host. I miss Catt Sadler, so we stand with her and that’s something that can change tomorrow.”

Rancic soberly replied, “Absolutely. That’s really what this movement is all about.”

Rancic’s co-host Ryan Seacrest also played it straight when Divorce actor Sarah Jessica Parker referenced the pay dispute in the context of talking about how the events of last year had brought about new awareness of gender issues in the entertainment industry.

“I know it’s affected your network,” Parker said, addressing Seacrest.

Big Little Lies’ Laura Dern also addressed Sadler’s departure.

“We need the powers that be and all of the industries and the networks and E! to help us with closing this pay gender gap, 50/50 by 2020,” Dern said to Ryan Seacrest during the live broadcast.

3. Eight actresses bring prominent feminist activists as dates

Eight actresses brought prominent feminist activists as their dates to the event. They were: Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement (attended with Michelle Williams)Billie Jean King, founder of the Women’s Tennis Association (attended with Emma Stone, who was nominated for her portrayal of her in Battle of the Sexes)Ai-jen Poo, director of women’s workplace equality organisation Domestic Workers (attended with Meryl Streep)M??nica Ram??rez, head of the National Farmworkers Women’s Alliance whose Letter of Solidarity was published in Time magazine in November (attended with Laura Dern)Calina Lawrence, Native American activist (attended with Shailene Woodley)Saru Jayaraman, co-founder of Restaurant Opportunities Centre United, an advocacy organisation for restaurant workers (attended with Amy Poehler)Marai Larasi, founder of UK black feminist organisation Imkaan (attended with Emma Watson)Rosa Clemente, activist and former Greens Party vice-presidential candidate (attended with Susan Sarandon)

4. Women dress as Handmaids outside

Off the red carpet, women from the Handmaid’s Coalition, a collection of activist groups who – following the success of HBO miniseries The Handmaid’s Tale last year – stage protests dressed in outfits like the handmaids from the show, staged a silent protest.

“Today, we stand alongside our sisters and brothers wearing black on the red carpet at the Golden Globes, to demonstrate the emerging and growing resistance against violence in the workplace and society at large,” the group, called the Hollywood Handmaids, said in a statement.

“We stand in solidarity with the powerful advocates in Hollywood behind #TimesUp and the many other survivor-led initiatives across the country, working to change laws and cultures to ensure safety and dignity for all people.” HOLLYWOOD HANDMAIDS MAKE THEIR DEBUT. #TimesUp on sexual violence in Hollywood. @goldenglobes#SilentNoLongerpic.twitter苏州美甲/pduAX19WWV??? Hollywood Handmaids (@HHandmaids) January 7, 2018

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